Sunday 1st April 2012 Palm/Passion Sunday B (2)

You are the crowd gatherer,

God of all people.

For crowds rushed through the streets

to stand in Your presence,

and cheer Your activity.

The lonely and the sick reached out their hands

that they might find within themselves

a sense of Your healing presence.

 

Story-telling Son,

the crowds continue to gather

hoping to hear little of Your love and forgiveness

wash over them,

that they might recognise their acceptance.

This special day of Palms

reminds us of the excitement of faith

when we realise the simplicity

of enjoying Your presence

and the experience of being part of a crowd.

 

Spirit of Community,

You have drawn us together today

to mingle in the crowd

that we might hear Your story of love again

and be willing to share the words;

that we might build relationships with others

that they might meet others with new vigour;

that our hurts and wounds might be soothed

and find ourselves able to offer others compassion.

 

Lord of people,

how we struggle to be like You

and place ourselves in the hands of those

we share community with.

Forgive us for our lack of trust

that others might be able to help and support us.

Forgive us for our lack of patience

as we become frustrated who do not live or do as we would do.

Help us to recognise those

we are not willing to listen to

or be guided by.

Enable us all to find value

in being part of a community of diverse people and relationships.

 

Gracious Listener,

as we journey through palms to the sorrow and pain of Your death in human hands

You invite us to live in Your overwhelming forgiveness

that invited us to listen through the noise and bustle

of everyday living

and hear Your love poured forth

in every encounter we make with others

in Your name.

AMEN.

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Sunday 1st April 2012 – Palm/Passion Sunday

In the midst of a celebration
You are the Dancing Lord,
welcoming the cheers and praise,
encouraging the sharing of joy
and the building of relationships.
And in the midst of celebration
You seek out
those who feel lost and alone,
and walk with them in the agony
of separation from others.
This Day is a day of celebration
and of sorrow,
for we are the crowd who shout with joy,
and we are the crowd who lose sight of the lost.
May we be shaped by You
as that we do no cast aside
those who carry alternative emotions.
Amen.

Sunday 25th March 2012 – Lent 5B (5)

God of Creation,

You are a caring and attentive gardener,

who sows seeds in unexpected places

that new and creative ways

of encountering Your Spirit might take place.

We thank You for those

who have laboured in Your creation garden

touching our lives

and the lives of others

with the stories of faith

that have fed the roots,

and watered lives

with unseen care and compassion.

As we bring our cares and concerns to You

in prayer,

may we remember those who have inspired us in our faith,

whether they have dragged us to the source of their knowledge,

or lightly guided by allowing us to make choices for ourselves.

 

We pray for your church in Corstorphine and Edinburgh.

We thank You for the differences

that exist between our congregations

in history and theology

knowing that it is these differences

that spark our interest and conversations.

We nurture the similarities between us,

and continue to acknowledge

our shared love and service of You.

 

We remember the different seeds

that are scattered in human life:

Seeds of ambition, power, self-seeking

and recognise that while they have positive aspects to them,

they can also be divisive

as the separate the haves from the have nots.

May we as Your church

seek out the seeds of commonality and community

that we might encourage others

to know more of You and of each other

as we learn to share the resources

we have been given.

 

We pray for our government and World Leaders.

In the policies and decisions they make

they offer the people the govern

the opportunity to grow.

May they find ways

to enable people to have the access to education, health,

housing, and work,

that allow them

to live life in all possible ways.

 

We remember those who struggle to grow,

held back by fear or circumstances.

We remember children

who do not have the food or healthcare

that will enable them to grow to adulthood;

families squashed into shack-like accommodation;

people who await the next bomb to drop

or bullet to fire.

In communities across the world,

may the seeds of hope and peace be planted

and may we

inspired by You

find ways to encourage them to grow.

 

As we mourn the loss of others from our lives

may we find the seeds of faith

they have inspired within us

growing with Your care,

that we might be willing to nurture

the signs of Your life

in all circumstances

in Christ’s name.

Amen.

Sunday 25th March 2012 – Lent 5B (4)

Lord of Promises,

You have been faithful to Your people

throughout all time.

You have gifted Your love

in the words

that define our relationships with others

and in the talents and gifts

that speak of Your living presence

in the midst of human life.

We respond with the gifts of our hearts

and our labours,

that we might thank You

for Your faithfulness to us.

May we too grow in faithfulness

that allows Your Spirit

to cast wide the seeds of faith

and bring forth the fruits of Christ

in new places and situations.

Amen.

Sunday 25th March 2012 – Lent 5B (3)

Opening Prayer

In the intrigue of a story,

in the toil of creation,

in the mystery of relationship,

people gather to know more of You,

God who inspires.

Little seeds of faith

are planted

in the midst of all we know,

and with Your Spirit’s nurturing and nourishing

life flows through the shoots

that will reach beyond the seed itself.

 

In each of us You bring us to a time

of knowing and understanding

that deepens our trust in You,

and reminds all of

the part they will play

in the telling of Your living story

as we Your people

respond to You

in the love and care,

working and sharing

that spark the seeds in others

to bear fruit.

 

We do not always trust You

with the hope You can inspire.

Instead we loose ourselves

in grieving

that the time of Christian faith is past.

We wallow in our doubts

and pass our malcontent to other;

we dampen vibrancy

for fear it might encourage new growth within ourselves

that will call us to new forms of service;

we believe that what we have to offer

will never match

what the Spirit seeks to inspire.

 

As we seek Your forgiveness,

may we be reminded

that You are a Lord without boundaries.

While we might want to fence in

what grows within ourselves

and our community,

You throw wide the doors

that others might feast

on the harvest of Your gifts

and grow in new ways.

May we allow you to plant

the seeds of hope amidst us

and be willing to bear the fruit

that offers others signs of Christ’s presence

in the world today.

 Amen.

Sunday 25th March 2012 – Lent 5B (2)

Call to Worship

God’s love is unfailing,

and with His compassion

He washes over

all of our faults and failings.

We pass through life

ever aware

of all we fail to do

and all that we get wrong.

But God reaches beyond

the outer mask

to teach us the truth of His love

and guide us with His wisdom.

As He creates pure hearts within us

and assures us of His presence,

may we worship Him with joy and gladness.

Sunday 25th March 2012 – Lent 5B

Loving Creator,
The seed of faith is planted amongst humanity,
and with tender love
You care for it
that it might grow
and bear fruit.
You feed with stories of faith
from Scripture
and from lives
that our roots may be firmly grounded
in our knowledge of You.
Your Spirit waters
with hope and with promise
that we might thirst to know and serve You.
As we seek to be refreshed,
may we bear fruit for others to feed upon
in Christ’s name.
Amen.